A woman who is pressing domestic battery charges against “Empire” actor Morocco Omari said the Chicago-born star assaulted her at his Hyde Park apartment, then dumped her and her luggage on a South Side street.
Omari, a Chicago native who plays FBI agent Tariq Cousins on the Fox series that films in the city, was arrested April 5 at his apartment on a charge of domestic battery. The arrest came soon after the woman ran to a school near where she’d been unceremoniously dropped, and called police.
The 26-year-old North Carolina resident said she had met Omari in Los Angeles only a few weeks earlier, and had made her first-ever trip to Chicago to visit the 46-year-old actor.
She visited the “Empire” set, hit a few restaurants and found Omari to be alternately charming and “combative,” she said, with Omari flying into a rage at her the day she was supposed to leave.
“Then, the last day, he went crazy,” the woman said. “We had an argument, it was about something so small … he has a respect issue … he thought I was disrespectful.”
Omari, in a rage, threw her down by the neck in the hallway outside his an apartment, she said, leaving her with scratches on her neck that have left scars.
“I actually thought I was gonna die,” she said.
Omari’s lawyer did not return calls from the Sun-Times, and his publicist referred comment to the attorney.
Mortified after the altercation, the woman said she still needed to get to the airport but didn’t know how to navigate Chicago transit and didn’t know anyone else in the city.
“He was my only source,” she said. “I was embarrassed. I just wanted to get home.”
But Omari flew off the handle again a few blocks from his apartment, tossing the woman and her luggage onto the street. After multiple panicked calls from the sidewalk, the actor sent her a text message with a link to Lyft, the car-hailing service.
She called a friend and laid out her situation, then ran to a nearby school and “pounded on the door” until she was let in. School officials called police, who saw the marks on her neck and back and told her Omari could be arrested.
“I didn’t even call the police,” she said, and when officers arrived, “I told them I didn’t know if I wanted to get him arrested. … They told me ‘it doesn’t matter who is or what he does, he has no right to put his hands on a girl.’”
The recent college grad, said she had not watched “Empire” before meeting Omari; she viewed a few episodes Omari sent her a few episodes after they met, and hasn’t watched the show since her altercation. She has hired an attorney and is considering a lawsuit.
“I just want to make sure that justice is served,” she said.